In and Around the Antec Eleven Hundred

It doesn't make too much sense to keep belaboring the comparison between Antec's P280 and the Eleven Hundred because as I discovered in the process of working on this review, there are some major differences between the two. The front bezel of the Eleven Hundred is almost completely ventilated, and that includes the shields for the 5.25" drive bays. It's actually a bit surprising that Antec didn't include any front-mounted intake fans, but given the basically wide-open-but-not-really design of the fascia coupled with the massive 200mm exhaust fan in the top of the enclosure, the Eleven Hundred may simply not need them in its default configuration.

One of the elements I especially like about the Eleven Hundred is the I/O port and button placement: the ports along the top front of the face and the power button and reset button on the front of the top of the enclosure show that Antec understands and expects the case to be placed on the floor, but doesn't force you to pick a side for you to set it. When you do get to the top, you'll see that 200mm exhaust fan. It glows bright blue, but thankfully the LEDs can be toggled off depending on your taste.

The side panels are fairly interesting. On the left side, Antec includes a window, pegs, and silicone grommets for mounting a pair of 120mm fans laterally. These intakes are lined up pretty specifically with where you can expect multiple graphics cards to be, and there's no side intake for the CPU cooling. Instead, there's a spacious panel behind the motherboard tray that's slightly bowed out to make it easier to route cables, but also a 120mm fan mount designed to intake cool air against the back of the CPU socket.

Both side panels are mounted using thumbscrews, and they're hinged rather than needing to be lined up and slid onto the chassis, making it much easier for the end user to close up shop. Removing them reveals the interior of the Eleven Hundred, which features the usual rubber-lined cable routing holes around the motherboard tray along with a sizable cutout for heatsink mounting brackets. The drive cage features six mounts for 3.5" drives (using rails included with the enclosure that snap into the drive's sides securely) and two toolless mounts for 2.5" drives. There are also four internal 120mm fan mounts; two are in the front of the enclosure (the front fascia is easy to snap on and off) while two are actually inside the case, behind the drive cage.

All told, I personally find the aesthetic of the Eleven Hundred to be a lot tamer than many of the other gaming cases Antec sells. I liked how the P280 looked, and even though the Eleven Hundred is much tarted up, it's still not the plastic-and-LED "gamer-oriented" design the Six Hundred and Nine Hundred series have. Internally, it looks relatively easy to assemble, too, and certainly spacious enough without outright wasting real estate.

Introducing the Antec Eleven Hundred Assembling the Antec Eleven Hundred
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  • jgutz20 - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    Everyone has the best additions/tests for you to run, yet they arent making their own articles, just criticizing others!

    Good job on the review, Ohh and you missed a period after that one sentence, please fix it so i can understand what i'm reading
  • bhima - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    Would it help to take one of these cases that have been tested in the newer config to be tested in the older test set up as well so we have a baseline difference between the two testing methods? Would that help us get a reasonable idea of how the older cases would perform with the new testing methodologies?
  • Arbie - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    A big top exhaust is great, but it should have been done as 2x120mm as in the Coolermaster CM690. There is far too little choice of 200mm fans, and then you have to rule out all the sleeve bearing models because it's a horizontal mount. Yes, a single big fan is 'better' than two smaller ones in theory, but the market is far from supporting that approach.
  • cyberguyz - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    I absolutely hate reviews like this. Anand, fire this guy!

    Why do jokers like this guy review fill size cases with mATX motherboards? If you review an mATX case, then fine, use an mATX motherboard.

    Guys, these are full size cases, designed to hold full sized ATX motherboards. Any jackass can assemble a 'clean' and uncluttered system using any case like this size and an mATX motherboard. Try it using real full ATX motherboards and then tell us how much room you have in there to assemble your rig.

    Don't slap in an mATX board, then say "Oh lookie how roomy this case is!!". To do anything else is to do a half-assed case review that is not worth the few minutes of wasted life it takes to read it.

    At least he didn't attempt to pass off uber this case is by mounting a mini ITX board in it.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    Reading comprehension fail, I suppose? We linked our testing methodology article, but the simple reason for using mATX is that mATX can support just as much performance as most ATX. Now we can compare ATX and mATX cases against each other, rather than having to use two different motherboards. And amazingly enough, you CAN tell how spacious a case is without installing a large motherboard -- though I don't seem to recall "roominess" being mentioned as a selling point here.
  • Twoboxer - Monday, April 9, 2012 - link

    Reviewers need to pay more attention to comparisons between negative- and positive-pressure cases. The major benefit to a positive-pressure case does NOT show up in even the most thorough (short-term) review.

    A negative-pressure case draws air in from every crack and crevice. These openings cannot be filtered and so inevitably your optical drives, card readers, usb ports, fan blade edges, and cooling coils become clogged with dust.

    In a positive-pressure case, each of the intakes can easily be filtered leaving the interior dust free.

    I'm not aware of any compelling thermodynamic advantage to a negative-pressure case, either theoretical or practical. There are at least some anecdotal reasons to believe-positive pressure cases have a theoretical advantage in sound dampening.

    If that's correct, Reviewers should be helping us all get more positive-pressure case designs by factoring this consideration into their reviews of price/performance. OTOH, if negative-pressure cases do have a thermodynamic advantage, it would be interesting to quantify it in some way.

    Because AFAIC, even if a positive-pressure case ran a couple of degrees warmer and cost a few dollars more, that case is by far preferable to a negative-pressure case for almost all users.
  • quanta - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    Am I the only one who noticed many of the so-called high-end case have been steadily losing external drive bays? There used to be 6 to 7 bays even on medium cases, but lately you'll be lucky to find 4 bays. With the use of optical drive, memory card reader and fan controller, the spare front panels are pretty much gone. The side-loading drive bays are arguably less versatile than front-loading variety, because there are no aftermarket hot swap bay fitting 3.5-inch drive bays. However, front hot swap bay requires no manual disconnection of cables or removing front panel once it is installed, saving time for hardware testing. Besides, the 5.25-in external bays are perfect for cooling bay for hard drives, and handy for converting them into intake fan slots.
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - link

    There is always the Lian Li PC-V343B if you just can not get enough external bays. 18x5.25" should seriously be enough for everybody. But testing it with an mATX board an no watercooling by be somewhat insulting to the case.

    But in general you are correct. If you go on any price-comparison site, you should still find that about 10% of all cases have at least six 5.25" bays, but on closer inspection you will see that most of those are somewhat older designs.

    I assume the main reason for this is the fact that more and more people get sepparate storage systems and use their main systems with one (or two) SSDs as Game/Work Systems only. And Anandtech, as much as I personally enjoy their tests, are really just picking a small sample of all cases available with their 20 or so tests per year, so it is understandable if they concentrate on the one or two cases per manufacturer which can be expected to be of interest for the majority of customers/readers.
  • olafgarten - Saturday, November 30, 2013 - link

    the case actually supports an XL-ATX
  • SeanJ76 - Thursday, January 28, 2016 - link

    Antec Eleven hundred v2 is one of the best cases you can own.....

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